I love this time of year, birds singing in the morning (except Saturday when you really want a lie in), long warm evenings, (there’s a quare stretch in them evenings boy) and summer Sunday afternoons in the garden, well, we have to be optimistic!
As the seasons change, so too does our food and wine choice. You can start to move away from the big juicy, spicy full-bodied reds which have provided so much comfort over the cold winter months.
I’ve really missed white wines and, now that you’re preparing salads and lighter foods, you can bring on the Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, the juicy strawberry and cherry fruit laden rose wines, and the light Pinot Noir or Beaujolais-style reds. Crisp refreshing wines which invigorate your palate and awaken you taste buds with lemon, lime and pineapple flavours dancing all over you tongue (pause), I just had to go and pour myself a glass. I always find the creative juices flow much easier when I’m ingesting the wine I’m writing about… ah that’s much better.
Kick start you early evening with a glass of Prosecco or a light rose just to simulate you digestive juices. Sauvignon is always a great way to start of an afternoon BBQ. Known for its aromatic dry whites, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most distinctive white grape varieties. In the glass it is almost instantly recognisable. Sauvignon’s flavour remains true to itself because it rarely takes well to oak. Fruit flavours range from gooseberry to intense white grapefruit, pineapple and even blackcurrant sorbet.
Sauvignon works fantastically well with starters, asparagus, wild mushrooms, prawn with avocado, goats cheese tartlets, caesar salads etc.
Santa Rita has created a new ‘Early Release’ 120 Sauvignon Blanc. The objective is to create something incredibly fresh and aromatic and to be the first 2018 Sauvignon on the market. Watch this space, arriving sometime in April, Deja Vu Beaujolais Nouveau.
If you’re cooking some light steamed or grilled fish, be adventurous and buy Albarino, Duesa Nai by Marques de Caceres. If Chardonnay is Dolly Parton, then Albarino is Grace Kelly; elegant refined and oozing with class. Albarino is bursting with some peach and apricot fruit and an almost salty finish (it is made with grapes grown very close to the sea), making it exceptional with mussels, oysters or any steamed white fish, push the boat out and go for Turbot.
Pinot Grigio will never disappoint and it’s a fairly simple inoffensive wine which can we served with a range of salads, pork or chicken dishes.
For something completely different, try a super chilled glass of Moscato exploding with peach and elderflower, a slight spritz and also quite light in alcohol, it’s the perfect Saturday afternoon garden wine.
Pinot Noir is awesome at this time of the year. I like it slightly chilled (about one hour in the fridge). All those red berry fruits, strawberry, raspberry and red cherries, it is such a versatile wine, super with tuna or salmon salads and light beef and pork dishes. Try Ropiteau Les Plants Nobles Pinot Noir or the new Santa Rita 120 Pinot Noir, which is an exceptional example of this versatile grape variety.